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Strategist Circular: 9 Things That Delighted Us Last Week

Jun 12, 2023Jun 12, 2023

9 items in this article 4 items on sale!

9 items in this article 4 items on sale!

We write about hundreds of products every week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites: expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn't know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling the vast online-shopping universe — including the nylon tote bags big enough to hold George McFetridge's wet suits (and daughters), the surprisingly un-fancy deodorant John Derian still uses after all these years, and the waterproof, strappy sandals that have become a Strategist-staffer staple.

Strategist contributor Adam Reed says regular cotton polos feel too heavy for Hawaii's heat, so he ordered this Syktkmx polo on Amazon after searching for a nice-looking, breathable shirt. "My wife was immediately impressed with the look and fit," he says. The polo's banded bottom makes for an "incredibly flattering cut," Reed says, and the 90 percent viscose material "allows breeze between the weave of the textile" and keeps his skin drier than other polos. Reed says it doesn't stretch or fade as easily, either. He's since bought the polo in all six colorways.

We’re still obsessed with these waterproof Voyas, which made two appearances this week: as Strategist writer Arielle Avila's pick in our May Strategist Haul, and in an update on Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens's much-read ode to the Mary Kate–approved sandals. With a supportive, nonslip footbed and adjustable bungee-cord straps, the Voyas "are comfortable right out of the box," Avila says, adding that she gravitates toward them for every outfit. The stylish pair is also versatile, with Kitchens wearing them through downpours and while canoeing, and on dressier occasions in writer Dominique Pariso's case. Editor Maxine Builder also got a pair recently, after which Kitchens told her to prepare for "the best summer ahead."

Designer John Derian may have a fondness for flowers, but when it comes to fragrances, he’d rather not. He says he can't live without this Tom's of Maine unscented deodorant, which has remained his go-to since it appeared on his list six and a half years ago. "Sometimes I’ll grab a stick of another natural, unsmelly deodorant," Derian says of the aluminum-free roll-on, "but this one remains my default." While Derian says he's been using this brand for "a million years," read on for his new favorites, including the rain boots he wears while waltzing through cranberry bogs.

Strategist contributor Farrah Storr spent four years and thousands of pounds cultivating a cut-flower patch in the British countryside, so trust her when she says these Niwaki flower frogs are the best for arranging fresh blooms in a vase. "Flower frogs mean you can display flowers in any vessel," Storr says, "and they will look cool and elegant." Niwaki is the best because the brand offers mini to XL sizes, Storr says, which means everything from smaller buds to heavier dahlias can stand securely in place when you skewer a stem on one of the frog's spikes.

When Strategist kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman spoke to experts to find the best-in-class food processors, cookbook author and recipe developer Max La Manna recommended this lightweight, wireless food chopper that he calls "really cleverly designed." He says it allows him to cook anywhere on his counters and clean up without a cord getting in the way. Though it's on the smaller side, the machine is "perfect for cooking for two," La Manna says, and the compact size means it's easy for him to pick up and shake if he needs to move the pieces inside while chopping.

After Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton decided to go off her birth-control pill, she consulted board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch on the best products to treat the resultant acne she experienced. For those coming off the pill who are trying to conceive, Dr. Hirsch recommends this PanOxyl 4% Creamy Facial Treatment Wash that Viera-Newton also calls one of her favorites for its benzoyl peroxide content. It "kills acne-causing bacteria and calms down any redness or swelling from zits," Viera-Newton says, but it's still gentle enough for sensitive skin.

In preparation for summer, a Strategist reader asked Chris Black about options for upgrading their husband's boat shoes. Black's response: classic Stan Smiths for a similar casual feel. This version in particular is true to the sneaker's original specs and made with more premium materials, he says. "They are authentic and easy, like Common Projects," Black says, "but not corny and expensive."

These French nylon totes have been in graphic artist Geoff McFetridge's life since he started using them to haul surfing gear in the ’90s. Big enough to hold four wet suits, they’re so roomy that McFetridge says, "I’ve even carried my daughters in them." The simple but well-built bags have inside pockets that zipper shut and are easy to wash: "You can basically just hose them out and throw ’em on the beach," McFetridge says.

When Strategist contributor Samantha Weiss-Hills recently traveled to Berlin with her partner for a week of food, wine, art, and architecture, she clocked a daily walking average of seven miles. To stay hydrated, she recommends these Nuun Sport electrolyte tablets "for a boost of energy for long walks, casual jogs, and energy in general." One tube holds ten to be mixed with water.

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The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.